Instead of joining a gym you might consider going and buying a weight set at Wal-Mart. Now before everyone in the world flames me, you can get a reasonable set of beginner weights there. You can study and lift without leaving. You can get a cheap bench or even a picnic table bench and your set. More people than you would think have started this way.
If you can't work out with this kind of gear, either you have more dollars than sense or you really don't want to work out. Buy this stuff first, when you are totally frustrated about what you are using then sign a gym contract or go buy some "good" stuff.